In a recent post, we discussed one of our favourite topics: ‘Wine And Cheese Pairing – What You Need To Know.‘ We received such a good response, we thought today we would follow it up with a review of four different types of cheese suitable for your next wine tasting. Did you know some experts still argue whether the plural for cheese is cheeses, or just simply cheese! Interesting.
Anyway, the four cheeses we have chosen for you today are as follows:
- Dutch Gouda
- Vintage Cheddar
- Peppercorn, and
- Dutch Smoked.
If you have ever hosted a dinner, held a party or offered a cheese platter, the thought may have crossed your mind as to what wine you could offer or serve at that function to compliment the cheese being served.
In the previous post we mentioned above, we gave some basic understanding as to how to match wines with certain types of cheese, be it soft, hard or blue, etc.
Today’s post is very much a follow-on to that article, where we are going to show you four common type of cheese often seen on cheese platters around the world.
And with each cheese mentioned, we will give a little more understanding as to the appropriate wines – in our opinion – you could serve in each case.
Named after the city of Gouda in the Netherlands, and with over 2,000 years of cheesemaking experience, the Dutch could well be considered experts. One of the more versatile cheese in the world, it is mild and can range from creamy and sweet through to nutty and crumbly, dependant upon the age of the cheese. Being a mild cheese it is very popular in toasted cheese sandwiches and fondues.
Because this is a mild cheese you need to ensure you do not overpower it with a powerful or full-bodied wine. We generally prefer to stick with the lighter wines such as Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, or Pinot Noir. That said – if you like to break a few rules and enjoy a stunning full-bodied wine with an aged Dutch Gouda, by all means try a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, or a Merlot if something lighter is preferred.
I doubt you will find many cheese platters which do not have some of this wonderful cheese to enjoy. Aussies love their mature cheese, and a good quality Vintage Cheddar has been maturing for at least 12-24 months during which time it is regularly assessed for taste, texture and crunchy calcium lactate crystals in the body of the cheese. This cheese is full-flavoured and has more ‘bite’ than a younger cheese. As such, it is perfect on a platter, as well as in scones, or a creamy gratin dish.
With the richness of the cheese, a full-bodied wine suits it nicely. A Cabernet Sauvignon, vintage fortified wine, or even a cooled Chardonnay Semillon would do the trick. For something a little different, try a medium dry cider or a strong ale for a refreshing taste.
If you love the taste and texture of Cheddar with that little extra taste of cracked peppercorns, then this cheese is probably right up your alley. It is another versatile cheese that goes as well in a delicious sandwich as it does on a platter with pickled onions and cherry tomatoes. It is a rich and flavoursome cheese and as such deserves a full-bodied wine to accompany it.
We like an aged Shiraz or hearty Cabernet Sauvignon with this type of cheese, though sometimes even a Pinot Gris or Chenin Blanc can be a surprising match, depending upon the flavours coming out of the cheese.
If you love anything smoked, then this is the cheese for you. Another favourite for the platter, as well as being used in yummy turkey sandwiches, and any other recipe that is enhanced by the flavours brought out as part of the smoke-curing process. In reality, you can buy Cheddar, Gouda, or any other number of fine and suitable smoked cheeses from your local supermarket.
I know we are talking here about wines mainly, but let me give you a BIG hint. This type of cheese is fantastic with a cold beer on a hot day! If you get a chance to put together a platter with a lovely smoked cheese or three, some fruits and nuts, and even a few squares of chocolate… my mouth is watering already. And whether you wash it all down with a beer or ale, or choose a lovely Cabernet Merlot, you can’t go too far wrong.
I hope our little walk around the world of cheese has enlightened you, and perhaps given you a little courage when next you serve a cheese platter for family or friends.
And if you take nothing else from today that this last statement, please remember that cheese and wine were made to go together. These two natural products do not really have any hard and fast rules, as I hope I have explained above.
What suits my taste, may not suit yours, and so be prepared to experiment and see what wine YOU think goes well with a particular cheese. Ask your friends, and even host cheese and wine nights where you invite people to bring a cheese and a bottle they like together, and see what others think.
It can turn into a fun, and very informative night, I assure you.
And if you love your sparkling wines, make sure you also check out our review of ‘Evans and Tate Classic 2014 Sauvignon Blanc. Please also consider subscribing, so we can always keep you up to date with our latest posts.
Living each adventure,
Christine and Trevor
Empowering people to live a healthy, active, authentic and fulfilling life.
Adelaide, South Australia.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine, adopting any new procedure or using any new product. We provide relevant links in each post to services or products of relevance to that topic. Many are unpaid links, while others may be affiliate links. They are included because of their relevance above all else.